Editorial Guidelines for Alliance Labs

The American Alliance of Museums has several publishing avenues. On Alliance Labs, we want to provide the museum community a place to share its stories and insights with people from across the museum field. We welcome contributions from anyone with a profound interest in museums. We love timely, well-written, and well-informed pieces on issues that help museum professionals do their jobs and that highlight the importance of museums in today’s society.

What’s the Process?
  • Submit your story idea using the Alliance Labs Idea Submission Form.
  • We’ll get in touch with you within two weeks regarding the editorial fit of the idea.
  • If the idea is approved, we’ll work out a schedule for submission and publication.
  • We’ll provide you a form to submit your article, bio and associated images.

We welcome ideas that are relevant to or have implications for museum practice. We are especially keen to share your experiences and thoughts regarding AAM’s 2016-2020 strategic goal and focus areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility; education; financial sustainability; thought leadership; global thinking; advocacy; and excellence. We’re happy to consider sharing stories originally published elsewhere with a note and a link to the original article.

Articles should incorporate the following features/qualities

Get conversational
Articles should be conversational but professional and must contain clear, timely information. Spell proper names correctly and give a person’s complete job title on the first reference.

Be Concise
Use active voice. Average length is 800-1500 words, but we also welcome longer reads.

Consider the AAM Audience
The Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community, including museums of all kinds, historic houses and sites, science centers, zoos, and aquariums. The best articles will have themes of some relevance to the breadth of the field.

Links are Good
Embed hyperlinks in the appropriate word or phrase and link to webpages associated with institutions, resources, people, or projects when first mentioned in the post. Links to other relevant blog posts related to this subject are great, too.

Pictures are Great
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Please provide a landscape (horizontal) photo or graphic (and make sure you can give us the rights to publish it, of course). This will be used as the featured image of the article. Also, please provide a square image of yourself. Then please include an image that supports and illustrates your article. Submit photos as JPEG, PNG or TIFF files. Please include photo credits. We love photos with people in active settings. For video, give us a link to videos published on other sites such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Identify Yourself
Please provide your name(s) and titles/affiliations and up to five sentences about you that we can adapt for a short bio, similar to this. Provide any Twitter @names or hashtags (yours or your institution’s) that would also be appropriate to include. By identifying your institution, you agree that your employer is aware of any content you provide to us for publishing.

Avoid Promotional Messages
Do not promote or advertise products or services from which you personally benefit.

Mini-style guide:

  • Use only one space after periods
  • Use single spacing
  • We review posts before publication for style and grammar – we reserve the right to edit posts to conform to our style sheet and these guidelines
  • We will give you a chance to review and approve.
  • Follow the Chicago Manual of Style

The Fine Print:

All authors retain copyright and grant AAM non-exclusive rights to publish and share the articles submitted on its various publishing platforms. We ask that if you repost or republish your article elsewhere that you please include a line that reads, “This piece originally appeared on the American Alliance of Museums website on [DATE],” including a link to the original article.

We will not publish any content deemed offensive, threatening, defamatory or otherwise inappropriate in our editorial judgement.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of AAM or its employees.